BOSTON, August 17 – For a while in their UFC Fight Night co-main event Saturday at TD Garden, Travis Browne looked destined to become just another part of Alistair Overeem’s highlight reel. But after taking all “The Reem” could throw at him, it was Browne’s turn to retaliate, and retaliate he did, knocking out the big man from the Netherlands in the first round.
Overeem made an immediate impression on Hawaii’s Browne with some hard knees to the body, and seconds later a punch downstairs as well. Moments later, Overeem went on the attack even more furiously, firing away with a series of unanswered punches, and then knees. But with referee Mario Yamasaki allowing the fight to go on, Browne pulled himself back from the brink and began the process of getting back in the fight. First he began landing with a few kicks to the body, and once he got Overeem’s attention, he moved his target upstairs with a left kick to the jaw dropping the former Strikeforce champion hard to the mat. Two more follow-up shots came blasting down on Overeem, and Yamasaki intervened, ending the bout at 4:08 of the opening round.
Browne improves to 15-1-1 with the win. Overeem, who was coming off a knockout loss to Bigfoot Silva earlier this year, falls to 36-13 with 1 NC.
See the post-fight interview for Travis Browne
FABER vs. ALCANTARA
Outside of some dicey early moments, it was a vintage ground and pound clinic for bantamweight star Urijah Faber as he turned back the challenge of Brazil’s Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-26 twice and 30-27 for the Sacramento product, who remains unbeaten in non-title fights.
A nice right hand by Faber to open the fight was greeted by an even nicer throw by Alcantara, who subsequently tried to lock up Faber’s arm. That attempt failed, but with Alcantara taking Faber’s back he began unloading strikes. “The California Kid” threw back at his foe, biding his time until he could find a way to escape. And with 2:15 remaining, he did, getting to his feet and slamming Alcantara to the mat. Now it was Faber’s turn to deliver ground strikes from a dominant position, and that’s just what he did, prompting chants of “USA, USA” from the crowd as he remained in control until the bell.
After a wild exchange to start round two, Faber got a takedown and went back to work on the mat, dominating the action for the next four minutes behind a stellar ground and pound attack. Alcantara eventually found daylight, but only for a moment, as he was sent back to the canvas for the rest of the round.
Alcantara’s striking and takedown defense looked good early in the final round but with a little over three minutes left, Faber was able to get the Brazilian back to the canvas. From there, it was more of the same for Faber, with the exception of a brief moment with 45 seconds to go when Alcantara threatened with a submission, but other than that, it was a dominant performance by the former WEC featherweight champ, who has now won three straight.
With the win, Faber improves to 29-6; Alcantara falls to 27-5 with 1 NC.
See the post-fight interview for Urijah Faber
BROWN vs. PYLE
Welterweight contender Matt Brown’s sixth consecutive win might have been his most spectacular, as he scored a first round knockout of Mike Pyle.
Brown (20-11) went on the attack immediately and didn’t stop until the fight was over, blitzing Pyle (25-9-1) and not even allowing his foe to get his offense in gear. The end came at the 29 second mark, after a punch knee combination sent Pyle to the mat and a follow up barrage brought in referee Kevin McDonald to stop the fight.
In Brown’s current winning streak, he has ended five of the six victories via knockout.
See the post-fight interview for Matt Brown
HOWARD vs. HALL
Boston’s own John Howard made a triumphant return to the UFC, outworking TUF 17 finalist Uriah Hall en route to a three round split decision win in middleweight action.
Scores were 30-27 29-28, 28-29 for “Doomsday,” who was fighting in the Octagon for the first time since 2011.
Hall wasted no time showing off his recent training with middleweight contender Mark Munoz, immediately taking Howard to the mat. Howard held on tight from the bottom, looking to force a restart. He didn’t need one, as Hall soon let him up. From there, the taller Hall went to work with his strikes, with what would have been a highlight reel kick to the head just missing. Howard didn’t shy away from such a battle, landing with a left hook that allowed him to get Hall against the fence, only to see that position get reversed on him. After a brief stalemate, the two broke, and Howard went on the attack, even looking for a takedown of his own. He didn’t get it, but he did avoid another one of Hall’s kicks late in the round.
There were some good exchanges between the middleweights early in the second, Hall holding a slight edge. The action would stall against the fence midway through, forcing a restart from referee Mario Yamasaki. Hall would show off some flashy moves while Howard looked for a takedown, allowing him to take his foe’s back as the two stood against the fence. After the action stalled again, Howard flurried and then got his takedown in the final minute, possibly swaying the judges in his favor.
The best action of the final round came just before the bell sounded, as Howard scored with a leaping punch on a downed Hall. Before that, it was the same grinding action that had slowed down the previous two stanzas, with each fighter scoring a takedown and making the frame difficult to score. That late round punch may have done the trick for Howard though, as he took home the upset win…at home.
With the win, Howard ups his record to 21-8; Hall drops to 8-4.
See the post-fight interview for John Howard.
JOHNSON vs. LAUZON
Michael Johnson not only kept Massachusetts’ Joe Lauzon from getting a record-setting 13th post-fight bonus in their lightweight main card opener, but he also turned in some of the best form of his career, snapping a two fight losing streak with a dominant three round unanimous win.
Scores for Johnson, now 14-8, were 30-27 twice and 30-25. Lauzon falls to 22-9.
Using great lateral movement and quick punches and kicks, Johnson dominated the first half of the opening round, with Lauzon just not getting his offense in gear. As the second half commenced, things didn’t get any better, as a short left produced a flash knockdown of the hometown favorite. With under a minute left, Lauzon was rocked again by the left, and Johnson seemed to be just getting stronger as the round ended.
After missing out on an early takedown attempt in round two, Lauzon was again walking into the line of fire against “The Menace,” but as he got into an exchange with Johnson, he was finally able to tag the Floridian, jarring him briefly. His aggression did cost him late though, as he ran directly into a Johnson takedown that could have secured the round.
In the second minute of the final round, Johnson stunned his opponent with a flurry of close range shots, adding to the woes of Lauzon, whose face was showing the effects of the punches landed. The sequence epitomized the fight and the stellar performance of Johnson, who needed a win like that to get back on track.
See the post-fight interview for Michael Johnson.
Browne KOs The Reem - UFC Fight Night Main Card Results
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